Category Archives: Mobility

Are low SES people more worried about fees than other people?

My new Grattan report, Graduate Winners: Assessing the public and private benefits of higher education was released tonight (Canberra Times covering it already).

The basic argument is that given high private benefits, higher education will generally be produced with or without a tuition subsidy. Therefore we can start phasing down tuition subsidies. I suggest 50% over 4 years for most disciplines.

The usual reaction to such suggestions is that the low SES people in particular will be put off higher education. I report the contrary Australian evidence. There is interesting English evidence in this report. What the English have done is far more radical than anything I am suggesting. Except for the clinical and lab subjects, they haven’t cut 50% over 4 years. They have cut 100% over 1 year. Combined with some scope for overall funding increases for universities, some student charges will nearly triple.

For the school leaver group, overall demand dropped by one percentage point of the age cohort compared to 2011, or about 15,000 people (like Australia before 2012, the UK has a capped system with demand exceeding supply, so this will have no effect on the total number of students). Read more »

Are Australians reluctant to move?

Last week, Conrad said:

Australians seem to move about very little in general (excluding retirement), and many people want to live close to their families for one reason or another.

I was a little surprised to read this, as the more common view is that Australians are becoming more mobile. Yet neither view seems to be correct.

In the figure below from the OECD (the Australian data was from HILDA), Australian residental mobility was the second highest of the countries examined over a 2 year period.


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